Ryrie Study Bible Intro
Author= Samuel and others (same as noted for I Samuel)
Date = 930 BC and later (Same as noted for I Samuel)
Note= I and II Samuel are one book in the Hebrew Bible. I poked around on the internet to try to figure out why the book was broken into two and basically can find a history of it.
"When the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek the Alexandrian Jews brought the books of Samuel and Kings together as the books of “kingdoms” and then subdivided the collection into four books of “kingdoms.”" (Bible.org)
Then other groups broke up the four book into a 1 and 2 of each. But the key take-away being that it was one book- so although Samuel could not have written past Ch 25 of I Samuel, the contents were created or arranged as one history. So II Samuel is a direct extension.
Contents= Samuel and Saul are dead. Now David returns and takes his place (given by God, not man) on the throne of Israel.
- Not only is God a God of creation, but also restoration. While we do sometimes see Him "spit out" a person or a whole civilization, it's only after extreme patience and a zillion second chances. He wants to restore each of us and all of us.
- Forgiveness is conditioned on evil in the sin and recognizing the confession. (sorry is not enough) then asking for God's cleansing and acknowledging that there might still be consequences.
- A major theme is restoration: after a long ridiculous season of things falling apart (since the death of Joshua, when they were supposed to look to God as their leader), God begins putting things back together, first the nation, then David needs help restoring his throne again after he brings sin into his rule.
II Samuel 1
So David is back in Ziklag for three days when an Amalekite man shows up from the Israel/Philistine battle. He informs David that Saul and Jonathan are dead, but tells a different version of events than in I Samuel of Saul's death.He has the king's crown and bracelet.
David and the others tore their clothes and mourned. Then David had a man kill the Amalekite for killing the Lord's anointed. (Looks like the guy guessed incorrectly about the lie to tell. He got a reward, but not the one he expected.)
David is so grieved he wrote a chant and had all of Israel remember it. He speaks poetically of both Saul and Jonathan and leaves out all the really big bad bits about Saul.